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A Modern Introduction to Indian Aesthetic Theory

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Item Code: UBF371
Author: S.S. Barlingay
Publisher: D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2016
ISBN: 9788124603772
Pages: 396
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 690 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
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Book Description
About the Book
The foundation of the Indian aesthetic theory can be traced to Bharatamuni's Natvalastra where he gave his theory of beauty (theory of rasa) which was later elaborately developed by learned scholars. In this work, Prof. Barlingay examines the development of the rasa theory by various authorities on art and aesthetics and finally presents his own critical understanding of it.

The volume begins with a survey of the history of Indian art by examining painstakingly the relation between art and beauty, perception of time and space in art, and classification of arts. It then plunges into a detailed study of origin and development of rasa theory: from rasa in the Vedas and Upanisads to Bharata's rasa theory and perspectives of Abhinavagupta, Bhattatauta, Bhatta Lollata, Kuntaka, Dandin, Mammata, Vamana, Rudrata, Visvanatha, Bhamaha, Jagannatha, and others who enriched it further with their own theories. It explains how principles were employed and re-employed by the masters to reveal various meanings, interrelationships, symbols, and perceptions of art. It highlights the salient features of each master's unique manner of interpretation of art concepts.

The work is a must for scholars and students keen to study the fundamentals of concept and theory of Indian art, particularly with reference to drama and poetics.

About the Author
Prof. S.S. Barlingay (1919-97), a reputed name in teaching and research on philosophy, was founder-editor of several scholarly journals. He was a teacher of philosophy at prestigious universities within India including the universities of Delhi and Pune, and at the Perth University, Australia and Zagreb University, Croatia. He published numerous books on logic, ethics, epistemology, aesthetics, and political philosophy. He was the chairman of the State Board of Literature and Culture of the Government of Maharashtra.

TRADITION holds that all enlightened activities lead to ultimate liberation and enlightenment. The study of beauty and aesthetics is one such. There is beauty in art sculpture and poetry but most of all in the participatory fine art of drama. In drama there are three components: the playwright, the actors and the audience.

It has long been held that the operative principle is rasa, the flow from the author via the dramatic personae to the audience. What is the nature of this rasa? Is it fluid that originates in the author's work or is it generated only in the performance itself? These have occupied many scholars in the past and various theories have been advanced. Most notable amongst them are Bharata, Bhamaha, Abhinavagupta, and Jagannatha. Professor Barlingay's authoritative treatise surveys criticially the contributions of various authors and provides a basis for determining what aesthetics is in the Indian tradition.

Despite the advance of the social sciences, biology and the physical sciences, we continue to live in a familiar "realistic" world, and there are those who have been able to penetrate this veil and recognize a deeper reality. It is this realm in which rasa functions.

The Basic Unity of Natyasastra Text

In all probability, Bharata's Natyasastra is the first systematic work on drama and poetics in India. Of course, it might not be a work of a single author. It could be a compilation of works of Drhina, Vasuki, Bharata, etc., and Bharata himself might not have been one single person. It could be the name of a "tradition", and one could talk of Bharata as one talks of Vyasa. Some modern scholars have made some original observations in this regard and have come to the conclusion that Natyasastra has not been the work of one author. Late Narhar Kurundkar and Dadegaonkar have come to such conclusion. I appreciate the research, but for my purpose I regard the work or the compilation as one single unit, albeit with many interpolations and extrapolations. I take this view because when Natyasastra was composed or compiled, it aimed at giving one cogent, coherent theory of art in general and drama in particular. That is why the compilation was made. Since who composed the work (the Natyasastra) does not affect my work, I take it as one unit, of course, after due selecting and editing.

The study, which I am presenting in this monograph, is of the nature of discussion of the language and parameters employed by those who developed our tradition in music, drama, dance and poetry on the one hand, and painting, sculpture and architecture on the other.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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